Alex Newsham

VAT Specialist

Why do you think got you the job at Leathers?
Having enjoyed my time in Durham at university, I wanted to stay in the city and applied for a graduate role at Leathers. Whilst I hope my academic record helped secure an interview, I’m assured by my colleagues that it was my passion for my hobbies at University that helped me stand out as a good candidate.

What has been your biggest achievement at Leathers? 
In a work capacity, we’ve advised on numerous incredibly complex VAT situations; one that stands out is considering VAT on commercial property purchases in a pension fund for the purposes of an HMRC VAT enquiry, which we resolved without any adjustments being required.

Personally, it was a huge achievement for me to be involved in delivering a section on VAT at our first Property Taxes seminar; public speaking is not easy for me! The fact that people wanted to listen and discuss VAT with me afterwards was a welcome surprise!

What makes you such a strong team unit?
Michael only ever accepts the best and this is something we embrace as a team. We challenge each other, but we all get on, which helps. Also, whilst we’re all relatively young, we have a depth of experience.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received or given?
Get a competent bookkeeper! Bookkeepers are on the front line, a good bookkeeper can not only make everyone’s job easier, but also can have great insight into the workings of a business.

What is the most traditional (or unconventional) policy you have in place at Leathers? 
Apparently (after Barry broke the beard rules), we now follow the Royal Navy rules on beards, 6 weeks and if it’s not acceptable, it goes.

If you hadn’t worked in finance, what might you have done?
Either a board game designer or science fiction author; both are big passions of mine outside the office.

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